17 months ago I was given some information that devastated me. Did I say devastated? I meant absolutely crushed, shattered and completely destroyed me to my very core. I don’t mean I was sad or upset. This stuff was life changing.
It’s been that long but I’m still trying to “recover.” How do you recover? I’m adjusting to my new normal. (Eww, who else wants to puke at that statement?)
I spent probably the first solid 6 months (and to a lessening degree, several more) crying very literally throughout the day (when I wasn’t at a work appointment) and crying myself to sleep at night. I would have longed for 20 or more hours of sleep per day at an attempt to hibernate through the early rough parts, but I had nightmares every time I slept. Horrible “in your face” kind of nightmares that were so realistic and horrifying that staying awake was actually preferable.
Anyone who has lived through this level of emotional pain knows the desperation that eventually comes. Anything, anything, would be better than this. Yes, I thought death would be a welcome escape. I thought that often. It wasn’t an option. I’ve seen the devastation left in the wake of suicide, accidental or even long term illness-related death. I would be putting my loved ones through the very same pain I’m facing now.
So, there was the drunken party life; that was a pain-numbing option… the bar scene, dancing, a new guy every night- eww. Stop there. I might be able to pull of the binge drinking and dancing like an uncoordinated stripper, but the random “hook-ups”- no. If I could even get drunk enough to pull off such a thing, spending my days with a hangover of that magnitude did not sound helpful. And then there would be the frequent STD testing, antibiotics and ointment. No thanks.
Street drugs? Violent video games? Major shopping binges? Moving to another country and living in obscurity? I knew there were ineffective coping methods out there, and I think I considered them all, but I’m just way too results-oriented (and yes, overly- responsible) to do anything that would involve an obviously unpleasant consequence.
But I was facing the consequence of someone else’s reckless behavior! (That should have been in all caps.)
Revenge sounded like my most viable option. I am clever enough to pull off something pretty amazing. And the planning and execution of my scheme would provide me with a welcome distraction from my agony. It would also give me a place to channel my anger. What would be the reasoning behind such despicable behavior? This person deserved it. A lot.
But, there was this pesky thing with my conscience.
(to be continued)
Photo credit: Google images.
The most difficult part in all of this relocation stuff is saying goodbye to my peeps. I love the people I have worked with in Oklahoma. I love them. That is not politically correct. That is not even professionally correct. But I don’t care. If you are a therapist, or are in any kind of helping profession and you don’t love the people you work with, you need to get out. This profession requires love.
I have seen people grow, have Aha! Moments, overcome struggles and bravely journey through trials. I am proud of them. I have been honored and blessed through each and every one.
I will miss them dearly.
There are injuries in this world that are too grievous, too heinous, too… altogether unfathomable, that we just block them out. We hear of them. We see them on the news (or in our newsfeed) and … click- something in our brain shuts off. We can’t “go there.”
We can’t imagine the suffering, the trauma, the long process of recovery and healing that our fellow humans will be facing.
Oh, we might gasp in horror, shake our heads, or say a prayer. Some of us will post a status on social media speaking out against crime, injustice or the cruelty of this world. That might ease our conscience a bit or make us feel secure in our own efforts to “do something” for or against… whatever it was- or is.
But have we really done anything? Deitrich Bonhoeffer is known to have said, “Silence in the face of evil is itself evil: God will not hold us guiltless. Not to speak is to speak. Not to act is to act.” Bonhoeffer practiced what he preached: he was outspoken in his stand against widespread persecution of the Jews, and was eventually executed for his opposition to the Nazi regime.
Let’s do something. No, I don’t mean plotting, rioting or spreading hate. I mean, doing something good. Be love. Spread hope. Dance with your neighbors. Give a hug. Commit a random act of kindness. Pay it forward. Forgive someone. Volunteer. Smile. Feed the hungry.
You get the idea. Don’t just hide from the pain that exists in the world. Take some action.
Photo credit: http://www.lovethispic.com
The Motley Ms.
Hi! My name is Melinda. I'm a saved-by-grace-er, lifelong learner, INFJ, health & fitness trynabe, Mom, #vanlifer, mental health vlogger, and Director & Clinical Supervisor at a Child & Family Therapy Practice in Northern California.
The Motley Ms
The Therapist's Therapy Blog